Univision fires KSCA-FM employee over PPM fraud


Univision Communications, Inc.We told you so on 6/11: “Well, now we’ve heard a bit more of what caused the delay and it’s not El Mandril. Said an RBR-TVBR source: “The ratings have been delayed until Tuesday. It has to do with a very important station in Los Angeles, not Mandril’s KXOS-FM. An employee of this radio station was caught having PPM devices completely under his control. Everything is going to be open about this in a couple of days.”

Well, that person worked at Univision’s Regional Mexican KSCA-FM LA.


Valle Jose

Said Univision Radio President Jose Valle: “A radio station employee being related to a Nielsen participant seriously undermines the industry and is unacceptable. Univision is fully committed to quality data.  Nielsen recently reached out to inform us that a media affiliated household had been identified in Los Angeles, and that it was connected to a Univision Radio employee from the KSCA station.  This household was separate from and unrelated to the prior problem that Nielsen had identified in connection with the Los Angeles ratings.  We commenced an investigation and took immediate action by terminating the employee based on our findings.  We are cooperating fully with Nielsen and the MRC to ensure the industry has quality data.  A radio station employee being related to a Nielsen participant seriously undermines the industry and is unacceptable.  We will continue to cooperate fully and ensure the efficacy of our internal training and compliance programs, which will be ongoing across all Univision stations.”

There are two households in Los Angeles that are unrelated. The first one was announced last week, was the cause of the data delay, and was not media affiliated. That household was removed because it did not meet Nielsen’s quality standards. Today’s announcement is about a media-affiliated household (with Univision). It is being removed from the data, as well. But the cause of the initial delay was the first, non-media-affiliated household. Today’s announcement is not delaying the data any further, Nielsen is simply announcing why a 2nd house had to come out of the panel:

A Nielsen spokesperson tells RBR-TVBR: “Subsequent to last week’s announcement about the delay in Los Angeles PPM Radio data, Nielsen has learned that a media affiliated household participated in the Los Angeles sample during the May 2014 and April 2014 report periods.  We have removed this media affiliated household from the panel in addition to removing the household that did not meet our quality control standards last week.

Both households had been installed for an extended period. Nielsen will conduct an impact analysis extending back over the last year and will provide the market with this analysis. The behavior of a media affiliated household not self-reporting is a serious violation of data integrity standards.

Nielsen is committed to upholding the highest standards of data integrity and acts swiftly to meet those standards. We will be taking a number of actions to minimize the risk of reoccurrence and ensure users of Los Angeles ratings data are adequately and prominently notified.  Additionally, Nielsen will be implementing an immediate and aggressive review of our policies and procedures to protect integrity of our panels. We will be transparent with the industry and share our plans as quickly as possible. “

Nielsen will maintain the delivery schedule we communicated last week.  Los Angeles PPM data for the May 2014 report month and May Week Four (Weeklies data) will release on Tuesday June 17, 2014 at 9:00am PT (12:00noon ET).  June 2014 Week One data will also be released along with the May 2014 data on Tuesday, June 17. We will be issuing revised Los Angeles data for the April 2014 report period at 9:00am PT (12:00noon ET) on Thursday June 19, 2014. All Los Angeles data releasing on June 17 and 19 will reflect an in-tab sample that excludes both the media-affiliated household mentioned in this statement and the household we mentioned in our June 9 announcement which is being removed from the panel because it failed to meet quality compliance standards unrelated to media-affiliation.”

George Ivie
MRC CEO George Ivie tells RBR-TVBR
: “We are aware of these two situations in the Los Angeles market, and Nielsen consulted with the MRC staff as they planned their responses to each of these matters. Additionally, Nielsen Audio has committed to work with the MRC to strengthen their controls to identify and prevent invalid listening as well as their policies and procedures regarding excluding media affiliated persons.”